Top 50 Gastropubs

Martyn Young

Serving regularly changing seasonal European food

Name: Martyn Young

Job Title: Chef/Owner

What got you into cooking?

I’d always grown up around food and in restaurants because of my parents but being out on my own at 18 made me realise cooking was a skill most people didn’t have. So, my first night at University I ended up cooking for 16 hungry, clueless students (which certainly made me popular!). From there I realised my degree held less and less interest and cooking had become my passion.

Why did you choose the gastropub route?

Ownership and creativity. The fine dining restaurants I worked in had such a bureaucracy to them and I always felt like cog in the machine, I moved over to a gastropub and was immediately struck by how much I could contribute to what we did and take my ideas and get them on a plate.

Which country has the best food?

Day to day I think Italy has the best food and as a country their food culture is so identifiable. But the UK really dominates the restaurant scene, compared to anywhere I’ve travelled, we have such a varied and exceptional level of places to eat out in such a concentrated space it really is unbelievable.

What do you enjoy most about your industry?

Being creative has always been the driving motivation to get out of bed every day, but making special moments for people through your work is easily the most rewarding aspect of the job.

Where’s your favourite place to eat in the UK?

Lately the Double Red Duke has been my favourite getaway and I always love Henrik Ritzen’s food

Who’s your biggest influence?

My dad. He was a butcher’s son and growing up we always had a lot of game, roasting joints and braising cuts. He really instilled in me a desire to use every part of an animal long before my time in kitchens.

What does being a Top 50 Gastropub mean to you?

To get that kind of recognition from our peers and people we respect and admire so much is very humbling. It has given us such a huge amount of drive to go forward and reach new goals.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Slow down and enjoy it more. I fell into that classic chef trap of overworking myself and making it a badge of honour, luckily, I’ve been blessed to work alongside some great people who taught me to worry less and enjoy it a whole lot more

What makes eating at Brook House so special?

We really do cook from the heart and focus on things we’re passionate about, the reason our menu changes so much is because we have a team brimming with ideas and things they want to cook for you.

What do you think the future holds for Gastropubs?

Gastropubs have such an incredible ability to adapt day in and day out which is really important right now in hospitality. Being able to deliver such a mix of crowd pleasers and creative one-of-a-kind dishes is what makes these places so special and will always give people more reason to come back again and again